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Product Overview

When mary's mental illness puts herself and her family in jeopardy her husband and son helplessly watch as she is torn from the family by the police. Forced to raise a boy on his own and cope with his wife's schizephrenia, father and son lern what it is to truly be a family. Inspired by a true story.


Studio Universal Home Video
SKU 206179346
UPC 025195029391
UPC 14 00025195029391
Format DVD
Release Date 8/11/2009
Rating Rating
Fathers And Sons
Mental Illness
Theatrical Release
True Story
Editors Note
Note This debut feature from director Joseph Greco is the semi-autobiographical tale of a 10-year-old Florida boy, Chris (Devon Gearhart), who returns from a summer in Alaska to find his mentally ill mother (Marcia Gay Harden) hearing voices in the walls again and Dad (Joe Pantoliano) up to his neck in debts and distress. Poor Chris meanwhile is growing up, discovering a passion for sewing and puppy love with a cute girl at school (Sophia Bairley). When Mom is finally dragged off to the state hospital, Dad turns his energy towards building a sailboat, but that's still just a way for him to avoid spending time with Chris, who begins to cut class and get into fights. ^Greco's script was obviously spruced up with input from the actors: they live and breathe these roles: Marcia Gay Harden is alternately sweet, scary, and sad as the mother, Pantoliano blends seamlessly into the role of a working class dad sanded smooth by domestic hardship, and newcomer Gearhart is aces in a surprisingly complex role; able to convey deep emotion behind a facade of stoic kid resolve, he sails the film cleanly past the rocks of contrivance and cliché and off into the sunset of first-class sensitive indie family drama. The beautiful photography wrings plenty of salt air and sunshine from the small-town Florida locale and there's a sweetener of a soundtrack with acoustic guitars and sad girl vocalists.
Joseph Greco
Devon Gearhart
Joe Pantoliano
Marcia Gay Harden
Cast & Crew
Caleb B. Mikler - Art Director
Devon Gearhart - Actor
George Hickenlooper - Executive Producer
Joe Pantoliano - Actor
Joe Pantoliano - Producer
Joel Goodman - Original Music By
Joseph Greco - Director
Joseph Greco - Writer
Marcia Gay Harden - Actor
Nina Kawasaki - Editor
Rob Sweeney - Cinematographer
Sophia Bairley - Actor
William A. Cimino - Production Designer
Technical Info
Original Release Date 2007
Catalog ID 68103730
UPC 00025195029391
Number of Discs 1
Running Time 100 minutes
Color Color
Original Language English
Available Subtitles English
Available Audio Tracks English
Aspect Ratio
Anamorphic Widescreen  1.78:1
ReviewSource Chicago Sun-Times
Review "Canvas" is a serious film about mental illness and a sentimental heartwarmer, and succeeds in both ways. It tells the story of a 10-year-old whose mother is schizophrenic, and whose father is loyal and loving but stretched almost beyond his endurance...The portrayal of schizophrenia in the film has been praised by mental health experts as unusually accurate and sympathetic; the story of the boy and his dad is a portrait of love under enormous stress...Writer-director Joseph Greco says the film, his first feature, was influenced by his own childhood with a schizophrenic mother. Even the father's determination to build a sailboat comes from Greco's own life. His film benefits from persuasive, moving performances from all three leads: Joe Pantoliano as John Marino, a construction worker; Marcia Gay Harden as Mary, his wife, and Devon Gearhart as their young son, Chris. There is also an affecting performance by Sophia Bairley as Dawn, a schoolmate who becomes Chris's friend and confidant..."Canvas" is a heartwarmer, as I said, a touching story of these people for whom the only response to mental illness is love.
Reviewer Roger Ebert
ReviewRating 8
Product Attributes
Video Format DVD
Peter Travers, Rolling Stone One of the most touching and vital works that I've seen in a good long time.
The New York Times A labor of love...that rings emotionally true.

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